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(Bloomberg) — Vladimir Putin praised ties between the Russian and Chinese language armed forces, whereas China’s protection minister instructed the Kremlin chief that Beijing is prepared to “additional strengthen strategic communication between the 2 militaries.”

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China has change into Russia’s strongest supporter for the reason that invasion of Ukraine final 12 months, and Li Shangfu’s journey to Moscow Sunday — the primary by a Chinese language protection minister for the reason that battle started — underscored the heat in Moscow and Beijing’s political relations following President Xi Jinping’s go to to the Russian capital final month.

Group of Seven overseas ministers assembly in Japan mentioned they continue to be dedicated to “intensifying, absolutely coordinating and implementing sanctions in opposition to Russia, in addition to to persevering with robust assist for Ukraine.”

Key Developments

  • China Tensions Excessive on Agenda as G-7 Diplomats Meet in Japan

  • Putin Critic Jailed for 25 Years in Harshest Anti-Conflict Ruling But

  • Slovakia Is Newest EU Nation to Ban Ukraine Grain Amid Glut

  • Russian Oil Will get Switched at Sea Between Tankers Close to Cape Verde

  • Putin Meets China’s Protection Minister, Praises Navy Ties

(All instances CET)

Putin Critic Will get Harshest Sentence But (11 a.m.)

Russia sentenced a distinguished Putin critic to 25 years in jail within the harshest sentence but handed all the way down to an opposition activist, prompting a name from Latvia’s overseas minister for brand spanking new sanctions on the Kremlin.

Vladimir Kara-Murza, 41, a persistent campaigner in opposition to Putin’s rule who has condemned Russia’s battle in Ukraine, was discovered responsible by a Moscow courtroom of treason and different fees for criticizing the invasion, Russian information companies reported.

His sentence is by far the longest handed down within the Kremlin’s crackdown on opponents, which has sharply accelerated for the reason that invasion in February 2022. A lawyer for Kara-Murza, who holds each Russian and British citizenship, vowed to attraction, in line with the state-run Tass information service.

Slovakia Halts Ukrainian Grain Imports (11 a.m.)

Slovakia is quickly banning imports of Ukrainian grain, following strikes by Poland and Hungary to dam shipments over issues they’re hurting their home markets.

The bans by the three jap European Union nations underscore splinters within the bloc’s efforts to assist Ukraine. Member states have voiced dissent over points together with arming Kyiv, banning Russian vitality imports and serving to the war-ravaged nation to export meals that helps feed thousands and thousands in growing nations.

Ukraine Begins Filling Underground Gasoline Storage (10:30 a.m.)

Ukraine has begun pumping pure fuel into the nation’s underground storage amenities, state transit operator Ukrtransgaz mentioned in a press release.

Regardless of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the nation’s storage amenities operated with out interruption by means of the 2022-23 winter, Ukrtransgaz mentioned. Since final October, about 5.6 billion cubic meters had been withdrawn from storage, barely lower than throughout the identical interval a 12 months earlier as a result of comparatively hotter climate.

G-7 Ministers Goal Sanctions Evasion (10 a.m.)

G-7 overseas ministers “underscored that Russia should withdraw all forces and gear from Ukraine instantly and unconditionally,” Japan’s overseas ministry mentioned in a press release following talks amongst chief diplomats in Karuizawa.

The ministers additionally agreed to bolster “coordination to forestall and reply to evasion of sanctions in addition to third-party weapon provide to Russia.”

Extra Slovakian Fighters Attain Ukraine (9:10 a.m.)

Slovakia has handed over the remaining 9 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets it pledged to Ukraine, taking the entire to 13, in line with Slovak Protection Minister Jaroslav Nad.

“This switch was carried out by land with the utmost security in thoughts,” Nad mentioned in an emailed assertion. Slovakia final month permitted sending its whole fleet of Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine to bolster its protection in opposition to Russia’s invasion.

Heavy Preventing Continues in Bakhmut (9 a.m.)

Heavy preventing continued within the jap cities of Bakhmut and Mariyinka, the place Ukrainian defenders repelled greater than 60 enemy assaults throughout the day, whereas Russian forces launched 25 missile strikes on the Zaporizhzhia and Mykolayiv areas, in line with the nation’s Basic Employees.

Mine-related civilian casualties proceed to be reported every day, with the Kherson and Kharkiv areas essentially the most affected areas, the UK protection ministry mentioned in its newest intelligence replace. “With the arrival of spring, and extra folks concerned in agricultural actions, the danger of civilian mine incidents will improve,” the ministry mentioned.

Ukrainian-Iraqi Talks Deliberate in Baghdad (10 p.m.)

Ukrainian International Minister Dmytro Kuleba will go to Baghdad on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and different senior Iraqi officers, in line with a press release from the federal government in Kyiv.

Baghdad is exploring a possible position as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine within the virtually 14-month-old battle, Iraq’s Shafaq information company reported Sunday, citing an individual near the federal government it didn’t establish. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Al-Sudani had a cellphone name on April 10 to debate cooperation.

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